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Let's define God.

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Phoenix, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean this as in, he could letus 'grow' without subjecting us to lessons at all, be them painful or otherwise? I totally agree. Why don't you think he does that?
     
  2. Khale

    Khale Active Member

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    Yes, that is precisely what I mean. As an all powerful being he can let us grow with lessons or a snap of his fingers. The way he does it is entirely up to him. As for why he doesn't just do it with a snap, I couldn't tell you. Maybe he just wanted to give us something for our brains to choke on :D.
     
  3. Mercellus

    Mercellus Member

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    Ok, I hope I make this clear and understandable. God lives. He is an actual being. Now, in my religion (LDS) we believe in the GodHead. The GodHead comprises of 3 Beings: The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost. They are 3 distinct, seperate beings. Joseph Smith in The Doctrines and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explains the physical characteristics of the GodHead. He taught, "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us." (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22)

    God the Father (whom I will now refer to as Heavenly Father) is one personage. God the Son, Jesus Christ, is one personage. Both have bodies; however, they are perfect. They cannot die. We know this is true. When Jesus Christ resurrected on the third day He had a physical body. He ate in front of the apostles, walked with them, talked with them. He is seperate from Heavenly Father.

    Now, why do I refer to God the Father as Heavenly Father. He is the Father of our spirits and in His likeness were we created. That shows that God has form, a body. If He were just a power, than how can we be created in His image?

    The Holy Ghost, the third member of the GodHead is still a personage of Spirit. He testifies of the Father(Heavenly Father) and the Son (Jesus Christ) and that they are "one." So, what is the definition of "one?" This means that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are one in purpose, power and priesthood authority. As Heavenly Father would do, so does Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost testifies to us of the truthfulness of all things (John 14:26).

    Heavenly Father is loving. He sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to atone for the sins of the world. Yes, God does allow things to happen; good and bad. And many people ask, "If God loves us, why does He let such horrible things happen to good people?" Now, you must know that when we hurt, God hurts. We are His children. He does not want us to go through pain, but there are laws set which God must adhere to; otherwise, He would cease to be God.

    Let me share a scripture that will hopefully explain this. I will first give a brief intro to what is happening. This is an ancient prophet, not in the Bible, but in a second testament of Jesus Christ called The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Lehi lived in Jerusalem at about 600 B.C., which is the start of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, King of Judah. Jeremiah the prophet preached at this time of the destruction of Jerusalem if the people did not repent. Lehi, too, prophesied of these things. Lehi was commanded to leave Jerusalem and, while in the wilderness, he taught his family these teachings (sorry, this may be lengthy):

    "And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.

    "Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

    "Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the end of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

    "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth. that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

    "Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmush as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.

    "And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to anser the ends of the atonement--

    "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

    "Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power and the mercy, and the justice of God.

    "And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, nether to act not to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

    "And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.

    "And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the on being sweet and the other bitter.

    "Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other." (2 Nephi 2:5-16)

    Our Heavenly Father lives and loves us. Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, that if we have faith in Him, repent of our sins, and come unto Him in the waters of baptism and He has promised that He will send another Comforter, even the Holy Ghost, to help us discern right from wrong. Happiness can be found in living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, as much as we may not like it, we must experience pain and sorrow so that we can feel happiness, peace and joy.

    For more information, please visit www.lds.org or www.mormon.org
     
  4. Khale

    Khale Active Member

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    In saying this you deny God's omnipotence, one of the key things that makes God God. May I ask who or what you believe is greater than God that sets these laws he must adhere to?
     
  5. Mercellus

    Mercellus Member

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    God is omnipotent. He is not a God of chaos.

    "Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion." (Doctrine and Covenants 132:8)

    So, let me answer your question with a question. Do you believe that there are certain rules/laws/commandments that we must follow in order to enter the presence of God or go to heaven? If so, then God must follow these rules, otherwise, would God be a just God if he allowed one person in that broke a commandment and cast someone out that didn't, just because he's God and He "can do that?" That doesn't make sense. So, God must adhere to these rules, or else He'd cease to exist as God. There must be order. There are laws given with consequences that follow. Consequences can be good or bad, spiritual or temporal. You read the scriptures you come closer to God. You steal, you break a commandment and the laws of the land. But, through Jesus Christ, if we humble ourselves, confess and forsake our sins and keep the commandments, then forgiveness becomes available and we wash our garments clean in the blood of the Lamb.

    Now, you may say, "Mercellus says that God is not a God of chaos. So, why is there so much chaos in the world today?" It is only chaotic because we made it that way. Because of our (the human population) choices, the world is the way it is today. That is one thing God will never take from us: our Free Agency.

    "And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

    "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivitiy and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

    "And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;

    "And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom." (2 Nephi 2:26-29; The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ)

    Thank you, Khale, for you question and comment. I hope what I have written is clear on my beliefs of God. He is just. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Very thought provoking. I hope to hear more and be able to learn from each other. Thank you, again.
     
  6. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    This is a very interesting point--I hadn't considered that!
     
  7. Khale

    Khale Active Member

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    Mercellus--

    Yes, I believe that there are certain rules/laws/commandments that we, as human beings, must adhere to. I also believe that these rules were put into place by God. Since, these rules were put into place by God there is nothing preventing him from changing them on a whim (Just compare Judaism and Christianity).

    As far as God of chaos... I will disagree on that. First, God, as an omnipotent being, rules over and is a part of everything, even chaos. Second of all, chaos is only considered chaos by us because God designed us as he did. Our entire concept of chaos is based on a universe that God has defined.

    Thank you for your reply. I too hope to learn from your, and others, arguments. This, I feel, is one of the best ways to learn.
     
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  8. Mercellus

    Mercellus Member

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    Khale,

    I totally agree that God is omnipotent. Now, I suppose, seeing as God is God, He could change the rules. But then God wouldn't be the same yesterday, today, and forever. He set the rules and God cannot lie. I guess when we come to the great and last judgement day and all of the sudden God changes the rules on us, we're all going to be in a world of hurt. LOL!!! Not to bash on your beliefs, Khale; I just believe that God is a fair and a just God. He set the rules for us returning to live in His presence and He will not change it.

    Perhaps we need to define chaos. But let's just assume that the general term of chaos is used here. We would say that the world is in chaos given all that we hear in the news, yes? Having said that, here is what I propose.

    Does God live in chaos? or perfection? I promise you that if we all lived God's command, chaos would not exist. Look at the City of Enoch. They lived the laws of God and God translated them. There were no poor among them. No thieves, adulterers, etc. It sounds like their life was lacking chaos, because of their righteousness. Now, don't get me wrong. Temptation was there, as was physical ailment, because obviously they were mortal. But they didn't allow Satan or his temptations to take over their lives, for those would have brought chaos. They made a choice and their choice was to follow God's commandments. They were blessed because of it.

    Thanks again, Khale.
     
  9. Rex

    Rex Founder

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    Wouldn't that depend on which gospel you read though?
     
  10. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    It's quite possible, Rex. I'm certainly no expert on the bible, but I'm pretty sure each account tells of Jesus meeting up with his disciples after he's resurrected...I'll go check it out!
     
  11. Phoenix

    Phoenix Member

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    He is omnipotent, is he not? Oh, wait.
     
  12. Mercellus

    Mercellus Member

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    Just because God is omnipotent doesn't mean that He is going to go against His word. He will not lie; He will not change. He sets forth the commandments and the consequences; both blessings and punishments. He will not deviate from that course. Here are some verses from The Bible:

    "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." - Deuteronomy 32:4

    "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him." - 2 Samuel 22:31

    "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him." - Proverbs 30:5

    "For I am the Lord, I change not;..." - Malachi 3:6

    "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he connot deny himself." - 2 Timothy 2:13

    "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the sould, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." - Hebrews 6:17-20

    "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." - James 1:17

    "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;" - Titus 1:2

    So, here are some verses explaining what I understand that God cannot lie. God wants us to trust Him. If He is a changing God, how does He expect us to trust Him and follow Him?
     
  13. Mr Spinkles

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    Mercellus-- do you mean to say "God does not want to and never will want to lie"? There is a difference between choosing never to lie, and not having the capability of lying.

    Hmm...this leads to an interesting question in defining God: does God have free will? If God does not have the ability to do evil, I would say He doesn't have free will....so perhaps He has the ability, but chooses not to do it?
     
  14. Mercellus

    Mercellus Member

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    Mr. Spinkles,

    Yes, I would say that God does have free agency, but He has already decided what His choices would be; unlike us. We still struggle with that, for we are not perfect as He is and we still make mistakes. He is a perfect being and does not make mistakes. God is righteous. There is no evil in Him.

    We have to remember that God is perfect. It is not in God's nature to lie; He won't. That's why we can trust Him, for He is pure and His word is true.
     
  15. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    God is simply that which binds everything in creation together. It is where everything came from at the begining of creation (whenever/how ever that was) and where everything will end up in the end of creation (whenever/if ever that comes) and everything in between.

    in the end does a definition really matter?

    wa:do
     
  16. Mr Spinkles

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    PW--A word without a definition is a non idea, like the word "Spinkility", which means the anger/negative energy that binds all motion. Give any word a definition that is vague enough, and it's existence is irrefutable. Your definition is awfully vague...does God have consciousness, intelligence, emotions?

    Mercellus-- You still haven't really answered my question....long ago, did God decide to take away some of His own power and prevent Himself from ever lying in the future? Or does God still, today, have the power to lie, but He has decided to never use it?
     
  17. Mercellus

    Mercellus Member

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    Mr_Spinkles,

    Sure, God has the power to lie, but He won't. He has chosen to do that which is righteous; therefore, He won't lie. He has free agency just as you and I do. All of God's doings are just and will be; otherwise, we would not be able to trust Him. There is no variableness in Him. He is sure and steadfast and we can know without a shadow of a doubt that He will not lie, regardless of the fact that, if He wanted to, He could. I just know He won't.
     
  18. Mr Spinkles

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    How do you know? Did He tell you? Are you sure He wasn't lying...? :)
     
  19. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    well.... I've never met god so I couldn't tell you exactly what he/she/it is like....

    its hard to sum up creator in 'hard' definition...
    It would be nice to think that creator has those things, and thus creator is portrayed as such in many stories, but who am I to say what creator is and isn't like.
    I can only say that in my faith creation is a reflection/part of Creator and that to look at creation is to look at a small portion of the whole.

    vague, yes.... but its a view that doesn't depend on fragile 'can god lie' arguments.

    wa:do
     
  20. Mercellus

    Mercellus Member

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    He did tell me that He doesn't lie. I shared about 8 scriptures from The Bible where He says He doesn't lie. Not one in there says that He does lie. I know because the Holy Spirit has testified to me of these things and I cannot doubt it.

    I know God lives and knows and loves each one of us personally. I can trust Him and go to Him for guidance and aide, in good times or bad. He is always there.
     
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